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Saturday, 26 December 2015

A Christmas Spencer

All I want for Christmas is a Spencer.  Wait, that's not right...

I finally finished my Spencer!  I'm so happy with the way it turned out.  I spent many hours hand sewing the trim, but it was worth it.

It doesn't look like much from the front, especially on a mannequin that isn't the right shape.  I really love the deep V-neck.  It shows off the top of my gown quite nicely.  Eventually I'll add trim to the cuffs, but as usual I needed this for an event so something had to give. 

Don't you just love the love the points on the collar corners?  
It all started from this fashion plate.  Except I hate pink.  But the detail!  So delicious!  My apologies for not noting the source.  It was uploaded to Pinterest without any references.  If anyone knows the source please comment and let me know!  I assume Ackerman's.

I've never used soutache before.  I basically made it as I went along.  I started by marking out the pattern I wanted: 

Then I realized I didn't need quite so much chalk...

From there, I just hand stiched it down.  And voila!  A collar!

I think I want soutache on everything.

The back was a bit trickier.  Looking at the fashion plate I realized that they placed designs under the arm.  Knowing I was short on time I wasn't particularly interested in decorating my arm pits.  I stuck with the basics and really, no one noticed I didn't have fancy arm pits.  

The back seam pattern was easy.  I just had to remember to start at the stop and work my way down.  I wanted to make sure it was cross-crossed evenly.  I wasn't happy with the way I originally marked the centre piece.  I seemed to get lost in the seam decor.  I lengthened the design a bit and ended up with this: 

A little Regency punk, no?

For those who know me, "badass" isn't among my oft described characteristics.  At this point it looked a little biker chic.  I wasn't planning on adding the ruffle noted in the pattern, but I felt obligated now just to soften the line a bit.

Behold!  A Spencer!

The details:

Regency Spencer
Challenge #12: ReDo
Redoing challenge: #9 Brown
Fabric: Wool
Pattern: Laughing Moon #129
Year: 1799-1809
Notions: Burgundy soutache
Accuracy: 70%?  I did use poly lining because silk is so hard to get here I'll be damned if I waste it on lining!
Hours: 15
First Worn: Dec 13th for a Regency hymn service and tea
Cost: $45 CAD


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Loren! It was really fun to make. I could add soutache to everything!

  2. What a gorgeous outcome! The soutache color/ design and fabric go together really well.

    (And I have nominated you for an award here: https://sewingempire.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/a-way-to-start-2016-blog-awards/.) =)

    1. Thank you, Nessa! I do love when stash materials end up working together perfectly.

      And thanks again! What a fun award idea. I love it!

    2. Me too! Sometimes one finds some very nice matches hiding deep down the stash box.
      And it is, although it's not from me. ;) Some folks though, are a bit against these "chain letter" kind of things. For an award though, it works rather well. ;)